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Thread: ZKW Burnt Bowl OEM Replacements

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    121

    ZKW Burnt Bowl OEM Replacements

    Hey all,

    I have been plagued with the same issue that plagues every plastic bowl ZKW HID headlights for E46’s. Because you cannot buy replacement bowls alone, the solutions currently for burnt bowls are either living with dim lights or retrofitting projectors. The retrofit is a good solution but involves cutting and irreversible modifications to the headlight housings. After much research and connections through work, I have found a solution.

    I have acquired some extra bowls for testing and as is the common case, they are yellowed, cracked, and lack the “mirror finish” plating. The bowls are plastic welded to repair the crack damage and then re-plated correctly using the same methods to plate them from the manufacturers. Below is a series of pictures documenting and comparing the before and after. The results yielded the increased output of a brand new set of headlights.

    Bowls before:



    Bowls after:



    Headlight output before:



    Passenger side bowl replaced, drivers side original (notice light output increase and depth of beam):


    Both bowls replaced:



    Before and after:






    Headlight dis-assembly for headlight bowl replacement:
    1) Remove trim piece and headlight washer cover below headlight using a flathead screwdriver wrapped in a towel (to alleviate damaging paint)
    2) Remove (4) bolts securing headlight with an 8mm socket
    3) Unplug all leads to headlight (high/low beams, auto adjusters, etc)
    4) Remove headlight from car
    5) Remove access cover behind low beam secured by two flexible tabs
    6) Remove bulb from headlight bowl
    7) Remove (4) torx head screws (not sure what size) securing headlight bowl in place
    8) Remove plug for headlight shade motor located on headlight bowl
    9) Carefully orient headlight bowl to remove from headlight housing
    10) Installation is the reverse of removal

    Here are short reviews from other members of other forums who purchased these:

    “They're mine, quality is great and far superior to how ZKW made them plastic out of the factory for some reason?

    Max did a great job with them, and why I got them was because they were the OEM bowl. I did not want to do any retrofitting or get any fault lights, etc etc. just wanted a straight replacement.

    I would not hesitate especially for those with horrible lighting (which is all of us)”

    "I just received a set of recoated bowls from clemsone46; these things are amazing. They cost a little more than the retrofit projectors, but they're a great option for those hoping to stay OEM.

    The difference in visibility is incredible. I don't have pictures, but as a comparison, I used to need my foglamps just to see at night; now I can't even tell when I turn them on.

    Again, cannot recommend these enough. I'll follow up in a while and we'll see how they hold up. Thanks clemsone46."

    "I was greatly disappointed that BMW did not even recognize this as a problem. I feel lucky to have made contact with Clemsone46 and found a great solution to my headlight issue. The output of the lights is as good as I remember from when the car was new. I also received excellent service and support to accomplish the fix. High praise, thumbs up and five stars !!!"

    I am going to be providing this service for any individuals interested. However, the lead time is lengthy if I don’t have any completed so it will be just 2 or 3 individuals at a time. There will be an included core charge of $30 that will be refunded upon receiving your old bowls (this alleviates individuals having downtime on their cars). Bowls can be sent with or without the auto-leveling motors and shades, new bowls will be sent as requested with or without the shades (shades are an additional $15). The total price will be $240 + $30 core charge + shipping, $270 + shipping if no core provided. Shipping will be done using USPS flat rate boxing in the US ($12 + $3 insurance).

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Max
    Last edited by Clemsone46; 04-05-2017 at 10:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,328
    How long is your lead time and what type of warranty do you offer?

    Mods: Smoked corners, smoked side markers, smoked tails, 35% tint, CF kidney grills, debadged, angel eyes, 3000k HID Fogs, OBX exhaust, Sharked, solo werks S1 coilovers, front and rear strut brace, AUX cable
    "I'd rather lose by a mile because I built my own car, than win by an inch because someone built it for me"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Greenville, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by midlandtech View Post
    How long is your lead time and what type of warranty do you offer?
    Currently, lead time is zero as I have 2 sets ready for shipment. The lead time I mentioned in my original post is if I run out of finished sets and thus lead time becomes 4-5 weeks.

    As far as a warranty or guarantee of not burning up again, I cannot offer that. I understand any reservations you may have, but all I can offer is my experience, knowledge, and advice. Certainly a 30 day period will not burn them up, but whether they last another 5 years or 10 years, I cannot offer a guarantee for that. As I mentioned before, the plating is actually more robust than the OEM plating so my assumption is they will outlast the OEM plating on the bowls.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Max

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,446
    My estimate is that how long they last truly depends on whether you're one of those people who drives with the headlights on all the time including during the day, whether you use Auto headlights, if you only turn them on when absolutely necessary, or what times of day you drive primarily (combined with any of these other factors).
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    1,630
    would you be willing to sell just one (driver's side)? For whatever reason, my car came with a burnt ZKW on the driver's side and the other brand with a metal bowl on the passenger side. (Probably passenger headlight was replaced after an accident.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    My estimate is that how long they last truly depends on whether you're one of those people who drives with the headlights on all the time including during the day, whether you use Auto headlights, if you only turn them on when absolutely necessary, or what times of day you drive primarily (combined with any of these other factors).
    This is true. Personally, I run my headlights all of the time that I drive. I have driven with mine for about 12k miles with them on the entire time. No signs of any light degradation.

    Quote Originally Posted by LivesNearCostco
    would you be willing to sell just one (driver's side)? For whatever reason, my car came with a burnt ZKW on the driver's side and the other brand with a metal bowl on the passenger side. (Probably passenger headlight was replaced after an accident.)
    Unfortunately I'm not interested in that, I am distributing these in pairs.

    Thanks

    Max

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Silicon Valley
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    Max, any suggestions on how we could work out a deal for one bowl (driver's side)? If I buy the pair, not sure what I would do with the passenger side one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivesNearCostco View Post
    Max, any suggestions on how we could work out a deal for one bowl (driver's side)? If I buy the pair, not sure what I would do with the passenger side one.
    If another member is interested in a single bowl, meaning I still sell a pair at a time, I would be alright with that. If any other members are interested in just a single bowl replacement, let me know
    Thanks
    Max

  9. #9
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    Oct 2011
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    Silicon Valley
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    I forgot, are the bowls side specific or symmetrical? Not sure what my chances are of finding someone else who has just one burnt bowl, but we'll see. Otherwise I'll buy some AL metal bowls or the E9x M3 bowls and retrofit just my left side. Doesn't make sense for me to spend $270 (or $255 if I get core refund on one returned bowl) to fix just one burnt bowl.

    So you couldn't sell me one then fix my one returned ZKW bowl? You'd still end up with a pair to sell.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2013
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
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    Pm'd

    Max

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